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Olympus sells Imaging Business


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Olympus has made losses in the last couple of years on the camera business.  They have enough profits in other markets to cover up the losses. But i think the investors weren't quite happy. So its understandable they wanted to have it sold.

I don't know what caused the downfall. Every brand is dealing with declining sales. So that can't be the reason. Poor management and choices? - maybe. I did notice a trend of moving away from the lower end. Many expensive pro lenses, like the 150-400. if it will ever be in production.


 

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I think your argument is based around the idea that lenses are an investment, but they're not, they're a consumable. I understand why you might think that, because it's a myth that seems to be on

Your arguments all appear to be circular, or simply saying that things that are MFT or are old are somehow inferior by default.  I guess the Alexa is screwed then, it's really old, the image is soft a

Logged on and what do I see Yes another topic waylaid by Super8 causing arguments If you keep it up, I will have to do what's best for the forum as an informative tool for filmmakers. And yo

Posted Images

13 hours ago, John Matthews said:

MFT will continue to produce fantastic images and videos for many years to come (indefinitely?). With such a rich ecosystem, it's hard to believe that it'll ever be "dead".

Yes, lots of lenses and lots of cameras still exist.  Plus adaptability of almost every other lens system.

Try telling everyone who owns a Sigma 18-35/1.8 and Metabones SB that MFT sucks because there aren't any lenses, when they own an adapter to use every S35 lens ever made. :) 

12 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Sadly, with a company like JIP, we will get to see an Olympus vlogging camera but it will just be their name on an Aliexpress £40 special like this.

new_olympus.thumb.jpg.f70291e8046c0b17b32584e58a02ebe0.jpg

 

 

Holy WOW!!!  a 3000W vlogging camera!  That's more watts than my mates subwoofer, and it's fully sick!!

*ahem*

9 hours ago, sanveer said:

The question is, how will Panasonic handle this, considering that a lot of technologies are actually Olympus technologies in the whole M43 ecosystem? Also, should M43 users and buyers suddenly be more conscious, now that development on the part of Olympus has stopped? Also, why suddenly now, since Olympus Imaging had been in losses for a while for while (3 consecutive years, as the statement says)? 

Hopefully a lot of questions are finally answered regarding why sensors haven't been refreshed in a while, why Olympus didn't get 10-bit video, why Olympus didn't join the L-Mount Alliance and many others. 

I guess licensing agreements will be potentially up for review at some point?  It sure would be great if Panasonic got Olympus IBIS tech.

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Very sad, I really loves Olympus lenses. Such great optics.

As for the sales and business side, it must be a nightmare to manage that sort of company when your market has been shrinking by 10% per year for so long. It's interesting to compare how Kodak and Fuji managed a similar market crash 20 years ago. I wrote a detailed piece on this:
https://petapixel.com/2018/10/19/why-kodak-died-and-fujifilm-thrived-a-tale-of-two-film-companies/
(respectfully, feel fee to remove this link, I don't want to spam)

I'm afraid they Olympus sold to who ever they could under the pressure of the shareholders. And now, who's next? Can the pro and prosumer market sustains all the current camera manufacturers? Canon, Sony, and Pana can rely on their other business divisions but companies like Nikon are very isolated and photo-centered.

 

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2 hours ago, berkenboom said:

Olympus has made losses in the last couple of years on the camera business.  They have enough profits in other markets to cover up the losses. But i think the investors weren't quite happy. So its understandable they wanted to have it sold.

I don't know what caused the downfall. Every brand is dealing with declining sales. So that can't be the reason. Poor management and choices? - maybe. I did notice a trend of moving away from the lower end. Many expensive pro lenses, like the 150-400. if it will ever be in production.

In a shrinking market you don't have to do anything wrong, in fact you can do many things right even, the problem is that to stay alive you have to do more things right than enough competitors in order to stay ahead of the edge of the storm.

It's like that saying, "you don't have to run faster than the bear, you just have to be fast enough to not be last" but the exception is that in this case the bear can eat many more than one person.

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4 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

That's the thing about this.

And who's to say a nimble camera company more attuned to the market doesn't come out of this?  I guess it's not the most likely of scenarios, but there's a chance.

I agree.  Not a large chance, but there is one.

When it comes to market disruption the incumbents have huge resources in the form of brand recognition and access to capital and experience in design and manufacture, but if they have the wrong mindset then they will be beaten by a more agile company that is attuned to what the market needs and makes a few lucky calls in terms of guessing where the market will go.

We're seeing that with the slow decline in retail in Australia.  The incumbents haven't made the switch to online and their arrogance is what's stopping them from competing.  Google "click frenzy" if you haven't seen it - basically the bricks and mortar stores did a deal with an online store to have a massive sale and despite it being literally their only job, it still crashes every year.  Meanwhile the stores that operate online have heard of the technologies from strange companies like "amazon" and "shopify" which handle such things every day without breaking a sweat.  But I guess you have to be a tech guru to figure these things out - you can't find out about these things without knowing how to google 😂😂😂

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After reading Thom Hogans take on this I am thinking there is a bit more hope on Oly surviving as a camera brand than before.

It may well disappear from most parts of the world and may make fewer products in longer cycles but still might be something there.

There is no certainty it will happen but if it doesn't I think their future will be bleaker than if it goes ahead.

Many employees will be the losers either way I fear.

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28 minutes ago, kye said:

 

We're seeing that with the slow decline in retail in Australia.  The incumbents haven't made the switch to online and their arrogance is what's stopping them from competing.  Google "click frenzy" if you haven't seen it - basically the bricks and mortar stores did a deal with an online store to have a massive sale and despite it being literally their only job, it still crashes every year.  Meanwhile the stores that operate online have heard of the technologies from strange companies like "amazon" and "shopify" which handle such things every day without breaking a sweat.  But I guess you have to be a tech guru to figure these things out - you can't find out about these things without knowing how to google 😂😂😂

There used to be around a half dozen actual camera stores here in Wagga (I used to haunt all of them) but now, the nearest real camera store is hours away.

For many Australians, Harvey Norman and JB-HiFi are "the" camera stores now (Harvey Norman is actually doing VERY well this year with a lot due TO the virus and I suspect JB is as well).   Both companies are also doing ok on-line I think.

I have purchased camera related stuff recently on-line from Sony and Ebay and with Ebay it has been from a large photo related mega store (that may well just be a bloke in a basement) as well as private sellers.

I do wish there were real camera stores still here but I fully understand why there "ain't none".

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12 hours ago, sanveer said:

Also, why suddenly now, since Olympus Imaging had been in losses for a while for while (3 consecutive years, as the statement says)? 

Likely for the first couple of years they were hopeful in crossing their fingers that it would become profitable again. 

12 hours ago, sanveer said:

Hopefully a lot of questions are finally answered regarding why sensors haven't been refreshed in a while, why Olympus didn't get 10-bit video, why Olympus didn't join the L-Mount Alliance and many others. 

Olympus doesn't focus on videographers, thus slow to add 10bit
Also Olympus likely didn't want to take the risk of splitting their attention across two camera mounts. 

 

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52 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Interesting take on the Olympus news here:

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/2020-mirrorless-camera/good-m43-news-bad-m43-news.html

Particularly about some of the statements Olympus made in the run up to this decision.

Interesting, it says "But JIP is not a large pocket investor, it's a small (US$150m) equity investment partner. In particular, they specialize in what they call "curve out" projects."

Which reinforce the felling that Olympus didn't have much options. I'm not sure about the nature of the sale but this division seems to be worth very little which might explain why other imaging companies didn't rush to purchase it. Purchase what? A dying entity without much IP, market share or ground breaking technology? Plus, most imaging companies are also struggling  with down-scaling and shrinking market volume. They won't spend cash they don't have for assets they don't need.

In the end, I agree that JIP is just a vulture company run by pure financials that will strip the little of bit of profitable meat left of this division and milk it in the shameless possible way. Of course all that will be throught the usual PR bulsshit vocabularly of "opimization,  agility, reborned phoenix, strong leadership vision, etc." What else could they do? The camera market is dead. The CIPA numbers are insane.

 

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10 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

If I was Panasonic I'd have done everything in my power to purchase this. I imagine a lot of the tech could be used across their MFT and FF lines. 

If it's too late for that, then I'd make a hard play for the engineers and staff. 

Cheaper/easier/faster to just license the tech now from JIP?
 

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4 hours ago, kye said:

I guess licensing agreements will be potentially up for review at some point?  It sure would be great if Panasonic got Olympus IBIS tech.

The IBIS may be common or similar for most Japanese companies, including the one in Fuji (which had similar tech, but smaller sized components, since it sports larger sensors). I am guessing Olympus may have bene licensing it to some of them. 

 

1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Olympus doesn't focus on videographers, thus slow to add 10bit
Also Olympus likely didn't want to take the risk of splitting their attention across two camera mounts. 

True. Though Olympus has Full Frame lens patents, which they could have used for the L-Mount Alliance. Except, perhaps, they would have to figure which lenses would be covered by Sigma and which by Olympus (?).

 

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There is a Spanish saying that goes something like:

"It's easy to talk $hit and not fear the Devil...until the day you see him standing at your front door"

We said and heard a lot of talk for the last 2 years about camera companies not surviving the changing market. Not everybody actually believed it. Today is a shock because the Devil is now standing at our front door. Its our first actual, "Oh $hit ...the Devil is real" moment.

More to come.....

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4 hours ago, noone said:

There used to be around a half dozen actual camera stores here in Wagga (I used to haunt all of them) but now, the nearest real camera store is hours away.

For many Australians, Harvey Norman and JB-HiFi are "the" camera stores now (Harvey Norman is actually doing VERY well this year with a lot due TO the virus and I suspect JB is as well).   Both companies are also doing ok on-line I think.

I have purchased camera related stuff recently on-line from Sony and Ebay and with Ebay it has been from a large photo related mega store (that may well just be a bloke in a basement) as well as private sellers.

I do wish there were real camera stores still here but I fully understand why there "ain't none".

I'm lucky that there are quite a few camera stores in Perth, but they're not my first port-of-call.  I did buy my GH5 from one of them though, paying the associated markup, because I needed it urgently before a trip and wasn't willing to bet on shipping times, especially considering that it's common practice for ebay auctions to be listed as coming from Australia then they send you a message saying it's out of stock in AU but they'll ship from HK for free, and then it takes international shipping times.

I've seen a few of the stores, and I think there is only really one or two that are focused on anything more than making sales.  The ones that used to stock film, high-end bodies and lenses, and do servicing were more of a community feel, but have long since moved out of the main city area and may not exist any more.

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12 hours ago, Super8 said:

Why?  The G7 was great, the GH5 was great. Investing in MFT in the future will be difficult to sell to people. The industry is moving toward full frame with super35 being preferred over MFT.   At this point it's all up to the manufactures and what direction they move toward.  I just don't see the new MFT camera releases to make it a viable product.  The market has shifted away from the GH5 model.

The same 3 people DOWN-VOTING my comments.  Thanks for the effort.

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42 minutes ago, Cliff Totten said:

There is a Spanish saying that goes something like:

"It's easy to talk $hit and not fear the Devil...until the day you see him standing at your front door"

We said and heard a lot of talk for the last 2 years about camera companies not surviving the changing market. Not everybody actually believed it. Today is a shock because the Devil is now standing at our front door. Its our first actual, "Oh $hit ...the Devil is real" moment.

More to come.....

Exactly.

People are still denying it.  MFT can be around in the second hand market for the next 20 years and so what?   In this case it's about the manufacturing companies deciding what direction the market is going.  It doesn't matter if MFT is a viable sensor size and how many speedboasters you can slap on it. 

I would hate to be the guy that ask for advice online about MFT and if it's the way to go in 2020.  At some point you have to be honest and give the advice you don't want to give but you know is true. MFT is not a future proof system that anyone should buy right now. Look how fast the GH5 became irrelevant.  Panasonic going fullframe and leading the market as the company to beat and this is the same company that gave us the GH5?

Sony, Nikon, Canon and Panasonic are counting on full frame sensor cameras as the future. That's what you roadmap and invest in. Not MFT, not in 2020. 

We don't want full frame 8K or even 6K but we're going to get it. 

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If MFT is dead, APSC and FF aren't that far behind. Can't really tell the difference, only in size and price. I guess we should all go to Medium Format-? That's the right format to invest in? It's ridiculous. As I see it, not much new has appeared in the past 4-5 years, only prices.

Here's my buying advice in 2020 in a nutshell: look at the images. Do you like it? Look at the portability and feature-set. If it's feels right, can you afford it? If not, look at used. Decide to buy or just use what you have with its limitations.

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1 minute ago, John Matthews said:

If MFT is dead, APSC and FF aren't that far behind. Can't really tell the difference, only in size and price. I guess we should all go to Medium Format-?

Nah! Medium Format is not far behind, they'll die out too. 

Large Format Digital photography is the only path forward now! And you're fools to buy into any other system which isn't large format. 

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